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Regional investment plan unveiled in Cowra.

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Peter Andren - Your Local Independent

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23 October 2001

Regional Investment Plan Unveiled in Cowra

Cowra Council and CENTROC, the Regional Organisation of local councils, have again led the way in promoting a major new regional development initiative, according to Member for Calare, Peter Andren.

“Cowra Council has led the Enterprise Zone push now picked up by Labor policy and today it hosted the local launch of a Regional Investment Plan prepared by Melbourne-based regional development expert Dr Greg Walsh.

“The plan calls not only for Enterprise Zones but tax-advantaged local or municipal bonds to attract investment.

“Local investors such as regional workers, electric companies, self-funded retirees will be able to put their money into these bonds which could fund job-generating projects such as Parkes Export Airport, alternative energy schemes, even aged care accommodation.

“The local wine industry is another that could benefit.

“Such local bonds, which will effectively redirect the hundreds of millions of dollars worth of superannuation leaving rural Australia annually, provide trillions of dollars worth of regional development funding in the US and Europe.

“It is estimated that $1.9 billion from rural NSW is invested in capital cities or overseas each year and if these local bonds attract just 5% of super fund assets, it would provide a multi-million dollar boost to regional development.

“Until both sides of politics commit themselves to a tax-incentive program like this, then Australia’s rural and regional areas will continue to lack the sort of financial capital needed to generate industry and jobs.

“Our competitors in Europe and the US are doing it, and we need to catch up by embracing the Regional Investment plan unveiled in Cowra today,” Mr Andren said.

For more information: Peter Andren 041 961 2891